directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: 1 year ago today....

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

1 year ago today....

.....Doug MacLean was fired as GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Actually is was April 19th to be exact but with Vancouver firing their GM yesterday it got me thinking about jumping in the ole time machine and taking a stroll down memory lane.

Read this Columbus Dispatch article if you really want a blast from tha past. Here is a snippet:

MacLean was hired on Feb. 11, 1998, as general manager of the team.

Under MacLean's management, the Jackets compiled the worst record in the league over the past six seasons, never coming within 19 points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Columbus and Florida are the only NHL clubs that haven't qualified for the playoffs since the 2000-01 season.

The Blue Jackets have been active in free agency through the years, signing the likes of goaltender Ron Tugnutt; defensemen Lyle Odelein, Luke Richardson, Scott Lachance, Adam Foote and Bryan Berard; and forwards Todd Marchant, Jan Hrdina and Anson Carter.

Those signings have not achieved the desired result, which was to get the Blue Jackets into the playoffs, or at least into playoff contention.

MacLean took a major gamble early last season, acquiring center Sergei Fedorov and his $6.08 million annual salary in a trade with Anaheim.

Under MacLean's management, the Blue Jackets have had four coaches.

A few more articles from the Dispatch regarding the firing:

Where to go from here?

Bob Hunter commentary: In the end, MacLean left the owners no choice

Analysis: For lack of focused plan, MacLean gets the boot

Ahh the memories.

Unlike the Nonis firing, which I think the fromer Canucks GM really got the short end of the stick, the firing of MacLean was a no-brainer and for me as a fan, I still feel very strongly about that to this day.

I am convinced that if MacLean were still in charge our attendance would still be greatly inflated to save his own skin, the pick we got Voracek with would have been traded last year for an overaged veteran who flopped, this year's 6th pick would have already been traded for a quick fix and a shot at the playoffs to save MacLean's job, Foote-Westcott-Shelley-Fedorov would still be Jackets, we still missed the playoffs, Zherdev wouldn't have had a bounce back year and David Vyborny would have a 3 year extension.

Anybody miss MacLean out there?



Pub said...

FUCK NO!!! That bastard is a bastard!!

Douglas said...

Sure don't. The guy made some decent trades, but those are just drops in a bucket compared to the ocean of tragedy he put the Jackets in.

I'm not sold on Howson yet, but so far he seems to be better. My only concern is management is still saying "Playoffs next year!" and the press is still saying "We need a #1 center and a couple of D-men." Those are complete echoes from last year, and if you want an even stranger deja vu feeling, read Portzline's article that is linked on the main page. The date was just about one year ago, like LTL was saying.

One year later and we're still hearing the same things...

But, all that aside, no. I don't miss him one bit.

Douglas said...


LTL -- no more Stat of the Day? That was always interesting.

Thanks for keeping up this blog.

Anonymous said...


Oh yeah, I'll break out some more "stat of the days".

Glad you enjoy them!


Anonymous said...

Doug is an egomaniac who overvalued his players in an attempt to make himself look better, PERIOD.

Here is a stat: The jackets have something like 6 or 8 drafted players in the league over from 2000-2006. PATHETIC for a team who has always drafted high.

Compare that to teams like Dallas and Mtl (both have something like 14-18 drafted players in the league playing) and it makes you sick. He set this team back 2-3 years with horrendous drafting, no continuity (coaching changes) and terrible FA signings.

Anonymous said...

Here is my concern: Certainly Doug did his part in setting this franchise back, but he didn't do it alone. Other than a few odds and ends, the same braintrust is still in place. Much like Hitchcock had to give Agnew room too coach and watch him flounder with the pp most of the year, Scott is going to have to let his scouts be scouts and so on.

I feel good about Howson, but I don't trust those around him. I am not sure if Howson is operating from the place of: I am thankful to have the job or if he is going to say: get out of my way, you guys have mucked this up, I'm taking over.

Either way, it will HOPEFULLY be an off-season that we are looking for filled with players moves and signings.

We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Doug Maclean brought this franchise into being, signed Rick Nash, and hired Ken Hitchcock. Some day we'll think him.

-Doug M.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mac brought the franchise into being AND hired Ken Hitchcock--he just happened to be there. He wanted to hire Murray because Murray came cheaper but Mr. Mac overruled him.

Drafting Nash was a no brainer. Brule over Kopitar?

Why wait until someday? The days to thank Maclean are over. We are still paying for his mistakes and it is going to be awhile before we are out of it.